My post yesterday titled, “Is The Southern Cross Subversively Promoting Dissidence”, has caused some angry responses. The editor of The Southern Cross commented on my blog, “Alas, you are adopting a most hostile tone yourself, thereby helping to turn the Holy Eucharist into a battlefield with undue aggression. Are you not ashamed of yourself?”
It is interesting how those who criticise the new Roman Missal always expect that we should see their point of view as a worthwhile and intelligent contribution to the subject. Their continual criticism and questioning is always defended as being nothing more than reasonable healthy debate and of course a wonderful opportunity for catechesis.
Even when there are unsubstantiated accusations that the new Roman Missal was driven by the “political agenda” of Church hierarchy, it is considered acceptable for them to make these accusations. In the same way, criticism of Church hierarchy is defended on the basis of it being a legitimate response to a hierarchy who is allegedly abusing their authority.
It is also considered acceptable for a priest to publicly accuse our bishops of not answering questions and not acknowledging frustrations.
The newspaper editor defends the contents of the Southern Cross by stating that, “we cannot be "consistently" against the new translations of the missal if the editorials effectively call for obedience and the Busschau articles even promote them.” The editor also states that he “called for civility in the debate about the missal in my editorials, but I cannot enforce it.”
I don’t think that there can be any doubt that, despite the editorials and the Chris Busschau articles, that the overwhelming perception created by the Southern Cross is one of negativity and criticism of the new Roman Missal. The editor may then argue that the newspaper simply reflects the views of the majority of its readers, however that is in my opinion no excuse.
The Southern Cross is not a secular newspaper. It is a Catholic newspaper, which has an invaluable role to play in the catechesis of the faithful. The editor cannot permit content, which has even a remote possibility of causing any confusion or doubt amongst the faithful, to be printed and sold in church. The editor has no way of guaranteeing that all readers of his newspaper are able to discern between the true position of the Church on any matter and what is individual opinion. Since the newspaper is Catholic, any reasonable Catholic person would have every right to expect that the content thereof will be a completely true reflection of the official position of the Catholic Church!
Sadly, when those, like me, become infuriated at this constant, almost never ending criticism of the Church and in this instance the implementation of the new Roman Missal, we end up being accused of turning “the Holy Eucharist into a battlefield.”
This is of course utter rubbish. These types of responses are exactly what the feminists groups use when one expresses opposition to women priests, or when one expresses opposition to abortion. They brand you as a misogynist. Well, if opposing women priests and abortion now means that I am a misogynist, then yes, that is exactly what I am. The LGBT groups have a similar approach. Express your opinion that gay marriage is wrong and you are branded as a bigot. Again, if being opposed to gay marriage means that I am a bigot, then yes, I am a bigot.
To accuse me of turning “the Holy Eucharist into a battlefield” is a disingenuous accusation, similar to the example I gave of the feminists and the LGBT groups. Let me instead ask the critics of the new Roman Missal:
- What did the Church decide about the English translation of the Mass?
- Did the Church not revise the English translation of the Mass?
- Did the Church not decide to implement this new Roman Missal?
- Who then is causing the battle?
There can be no battle if we accept the decision of the Church! Who would we be battling, ourselves?
Is it not in fact you, the critics of the new Roman Missal, who unceasingly and publicly express your dissatisfaction with the decision of the Church, who are turning “the Holy Eucharist into a battlefield”? Is it not you, who is in fact sowing doubt and confusion in the Church? Is it not you, who is in fact misleading the faithful? Is it not you, who is portraying the Pope and our bishops as uncaring, insensitive, authoritarian figures? Is it not you, who is accusing our bishops of showing no appreciation of the pastoral needs of the faithful? Is it therefore not you, who should in fact be ashamed?
There is nothing whatsoever that is unsound or wrong with the new Roman Missal, personal sentiments aside. I therefore see no reason why this debate must continue in this public manner, creating confusion, stirring up emotions, promoting, however subtly, dissidence. Enough is enough. I refuse to be intimidated, by these critics, who are blatantly disobedient to the Church. I will not recant simply to avoid being branded as an uncharitable person. That would create the delusion of charity. True charity demands that I speak up and stop this subversive attack on the Church.
A lady on the Southern Cross website asked me, while criticising me, whether I was one of those who “pray, pay and obey?” The answer is a big fat very definitely, absolutely, YES, YES, YES!
I pray all the time because that is what our Lord Jesus told me to do and because I need his constant help and guidance. I pray because I am horrified at what I see happening in our Church.
I pay with my time, money and whatever other means I have at my disposal that can be of benefit to the Church.
I obey with all my heart because the Church was created directly by our Lord Jesus. By God himself! I obey an institution that our Lord Jesus personally promised to protect. A promise, which he has kept and which he will always keep because God does not break his promises! Of that, I am certain!
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”